Amarula gunning for top spot

Amarula gunning for top spot

2007-04-05 08:07

Johannesburg - The agressive push into international markets of SA's most widely distributed cream liqueur, Amarula Cream, is clearly bearing fruit.

Amarula Cream, owned by JSE-listed Distell, is now at a stage where it could claim that it's narrowing the gap between itself and the number one-selling liqueur in the world, Baileys Irish Cream.

Excluding Africa, sales volumes of Amarula grew 33.3% in the six months to December 2006 and exports (excluding Africa) now account for 45% of volumes. Consequently, Amarula has been trailing Baileys for two years as the world's second most popular cream liqueur.

Siobhan Thompson, the global business development manager of Amarula Cream, says the liqueur continues to build volumes in all its principal markets: Brazil, Canada, Germany, SA, Britain and the United States.

Market leader in many countries

"We delivered a global volume increase of 12.1% for the 2005/2006 financial year. Currently, we're showing robust growth in all our key markets, with double digit year-on-year increases for the 12 months to February 2007 in virtually all those countries."

Amarula Cream is the market leader in Brazil and continues to show good growth off a high base. In Germany it's the fastest growing cream liqueur.

As part of its international growth strategy, Amarula is tapping into new markets in Eastern Europe.

"The Scandinavian bloc is becoming an increasingly important source of business," says Thompson. However, distribution difficulties have plagued Amarula in Australia over the past year, affecting growth in the Asia Pacific region.

Travel channel is next

Amarula is also seeking growth opportunities in the lucrative travel retail channels at airports.

"We're definitely growing our exposure in the travel retail channel and are greatly enthused by our recent listing with World Duty Free at London's Heathrow Airport, which offers a very significant international showcase," Thompson says.

Amarula Cream's success is perhaps a better indication of the Distell Group's intention to further globalise its business.